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I have seen How to execute a script in shell when a shortcut key is pressed, but that is not what I want.

If you have used recordmydesktop, you may have noticed the following in its manual:

After startup, it can be controled only through the following signals: SIGUSR1 causes the program to pause if it's currently recording, and vice-versa.
SIGTERM causes normal termination of the recording. [...]
See --pause-shortcut and --stop-shortcut , on the Misc. section of Options bellow. [...]
--pause-shortcut MOD+KEY
Shortcut that will be used for pausing or unpausing
the recording. [...]
Default is Control+Mod1+p (Mod1 usually corresponds
to left Alt). [...]
--stop-shortcut MOD+KEY
Shortcut that will be used to stop the recording.
For more, see -pause-shortcut above.
Default is Control+Mod1+s.

Well, I'd like the same - but for an arbitrary, typically long-running, terminal program. Say I want to use ffmpeg; then I'd want to use an application somewhat in this way (pseudocode);

$ myKeyListenerApp --start-shortcut Control+Mod1+p --stop-shortcut Control+Mod1+s ffmpeg -i mybigmovie.avi -r 24 mybigmovie.ogv

The trick would be that myKeyListenerApp would start ffmpeg "paused" (or simply not start it at all); then as soon as it is notified of the start shortcut press, it would start ffmpeg and let it do it's thing. Then when I press the stop shortcut, ffmpeg would either pause, or if that is not possible, then simply be killed, upon which myKeyListenerApp would exit, too.

Does an application like this exist?

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